I saw the news today.
From the minute I was old enough to comprehend that the United States had a two-party system, I have been awestruck at the Dems' capacity to shoot themselves in the foot. At this moment, from my lofty perch in the Canadian Peanut Gallery, I cannot conceive of a larger caliber bullet for the job than Hillary Clinton. My wife has a co-worker in North Carolina who summed up US' voter response thusly: Americans vote for who they like, and if we were to rank the three current candidates in terms of "edge (abrasiveness) factor" there is no contest: the crown goes to Hillary, with McCain cinching up second place.
This deceptively simple maxim goes a long way to explaining every presidential race within my living memory (Ford/Carter to the present). Run this theory by a voting Democrat, though, and watch 'em bristle. "The presidency isn't a congeniality contest! You have to consider experience, character, their personal record on major policies, their ability to negotiate, blah de blah." Yeah, well -- keep trying to persuade yourselves of that. If the melange of what it takes to select a presidential candidate truly required such reasonable qualities, Dennis Kucinich would have won by a landslide. But he's not popular enough. He isn't a professing Christian, for one thing. On this and other crucial fronts he shows a damnable incapacity to speak anything but what he truly thinks.
Nope. My wife's co-worker has it right: the presidency is a congeniality contest. And he didn't hesitate to add that if it ever came down to McCain and Obama, the latter would win. (Did I mention this observation was made by someone from North Carolina?)